How to Organize a Refrigerator? Easy Tips and Tricks

The best way to organize a refrigerator is to group similar items together, store them in the right zones, and use containers and labels to keep things tidy and easy to find. This will not only make your kitchen look more appealing, but also help you save money, reduce food waste, and prevent foodborne illnesses. In this article, we will show you how to organize a refrigerator step by step, and share some tips and tricks to make the most of your fridge space and food quality.

Step 1: Empty and Clean Your Fridge

The first step to organize a refrigerator is to empty it completely and give it a thorough cleaning. This will help you get rid of any expired, spoiled, or unwanted food, and sanitize your fridge from any bacteria, mold, or odors. To clean your fridge, follow these steps:

  • Unplug your fridge and remove all the shelves, drawers, and bins.
  • Soak the removable parts in warm, soapy water and scrub them with a sponge or a brush. Rinse and dry them well before putting them back.
  • Wipe the inside of your fridge with a solution of vinegar and water, or a mild detergent and water. Use a cloth or a paper towel to reach every corner and crevice. Don’t forget to clean the door seals, handles, and hinges as well.
  • Plug your fridge back in and adjust the temperature to 40°F or lower for the fridge and 0°F or lower for the freezer.
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Step 2: Sort and Group Your Food Items

The next step to organize a refrigerator is to sort and group your food items according to their type, frequency of use, and expiration date. This will help you arrange them in the most efficient and convenient way, and avoid cross-contamination and spoilage. Here are some common categories to group your food items:

  • Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, etc.
  • Eggs
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Deli items: ham, salami, bacon, etc.
  • Cooked and leftover food
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Condiments and sauces
  • Beverages
  • Snacks and desserts

Step 3: Store Your Food Items in the Right Zones

The third step to organize a refrigerator is to store your food items in the right zones, depending on their temperature and humidity requirements. Different parts of your fridge have different levels of coldness and moisture, which affect how long your food items last and how fresh they taste. Here are some general guidelines to store your food items in the right zones:

  • The upper shelves are the least cold and the most consistent in temperature. They are ideal for storing foods that don’t need to be cooked, such as leftovers, ready-to-eat meals, snacks, and beverages.
  • The lower shelves are the coldest and the best for storing foods that need to be cooked, such as raw meat, poultry, and seafood. They are also good for storing dairy products and eggs, which need to be kept at a low temperature to prevent spoilage and bacterial growth.
  • The door shelves are the warmest and the most prone to temperature fluctuations. They are suitable for storing foods that are less perishable, such as condiments, sauces, jams, and juices.
  • The crisper drawers are the most humid and the best for storing fruits and vegetables that need moisture to stay fresh and crisp. Some fridges have adjustable humidity controls for the crisper drawers, which allow you to set the optimal level of moisture for different types of produce. As a rule of thumb, leafy greens, herbs, and berries need high humidity, while apples, pears, and citrus fruits need low humidity.
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Step 4: Use Containers and Labels to Keep Things Tidy and Easy to Find

The final step to organize a refrigerator is to use containers and labels to keep things tidy and easy to find. Containers and labels can help you maximize your fridge space, prevent spills and leaks, and make your food items more visible and accessible. Here are some tips and tricks to use containers and labels effectively:

  • Use clear, airtight containers to store your food items, especially cooked and leftover food, deli items, and cut fruits and vegetables. This will help you see what’s inside, seal in the freshness and flavor, and avoid odors and bacteria.
  • Use stackable containers to save space and create more room in your fridge. You can also use baskets, bins, or trays to organize your food items by category or by meal.
  • Use labels to mark your containers with the name and date of the food item, and the expiration or use-by date. This will help you keep track of what you have, what you need to use up, and what you need to throw away.
  • Use color-coded labels or stickers to indicate the priority or urgency of your food items. For example, you can use red for items that need to be used or eaten soon, yellow for items that can last a bit longer, and green for items that are still fresh and safe.


Organizing a refrigerator is not a difficult or time-consuming task, but it can make a big difference in your kitchen and your life. By following these four simple steps, you can organize a refrigerator that is cleaner, fresher, and more efficient. You can also enjoy the benefits of saving money, reducing food waste, and preventing foodborne illnesses. So, what are you waiting for? Start organizing your refrigerator today and see the results for yourself!